A week into life with a newborn, I sent a bleary-eyed text to a friend and fellow mom asking her how long it would be before things got easier. When she texted back, “Yeah, that first month is really tough,” I thought “Month?! How am I going to survive another week?”
Nights with new babies can be long and lonely, and it doesn’t always end when the newborn phase is over. When my husband and I were trying for a second child, our oldest was 2 years old and still wasn’t sleeping through the night. We’d tried cry it out, we tried sitting on the floor of her room with our back to her; we did all the things we’d read about until we decided the easiest way to maximize sleep for everyone was to cave. We bought a mini-fridge to have on our nightstand, so we didn’t have to fumble around in the dark kitchen when she woke up for milk around 3am. Someday, we’ll tell her she almost lost her chance for a sibling as her parents contemplated how to go another two or more years without sleeping.
We did have another baby and survived life with two kids waking up early and often. These days, both of my kids still climb into our bed most mornings, but now I relish it because I know it won’t last forever.
On a morning a few weeks ago, fresh off a trip and a three-hour time change, I opened my eyes and glanced at the clock — 8:59am. I blinked, confused, and checked my phone. The time was correct. I stretched, got up, and looked in on both of my girls who were still sleeping. The last time I’d slept until 9am was over seven years ago. I went downstairs to a quiet house to enjoy my coffee for the pure enjoyment of it, not because I needed it to wake up.
So yes, you will sleep again. It’ll happen slowly over time, but one morning you’ll blink your well-rested eyes, your babies will be in their own big-kid beds, and you’ll wonder, “Were those sleepless nights really so bad?”
“Maybe we should have another kid?” (LOL, JK, well …)
Read More: It’s OK to Not Love the Newborn Phase